I am get­ting on a plane today for a job inter­view. Over the past sev­er­al months I have been prepar­ing for an emer­gency of sorts (man­made, nat­ur­al dis­as­ter, or per­son­al emer­gency) I have done lit­tle plane trav­el. Pri­or to this, I used to do a lot of trav­el­ing all over the coun­try. Most of my busi­ness trips are/have been on a plane vs car. Today for the first time in about two/three months I am get­ting on a plane, and it feels weird I can­not bring my typ­i­cal every­day car­ry (EDC) with me. i.e. My Ger­ber fold­ing knife, an Altoids can EDC kit (mini mul­ti-tool, match­es, nee­dle, thread, etc.), Zip­po lighter, and the like (UPDATE:  The TSA have since allowed lighters back in car­ry-ons). In fact, I feel sort of naked with­out my EDC kit.

So, to impro­vise in the pinch, I brought along the fol­low­ing: Two Bal­ance nutri­tion bars, an LED flash­light with 2 new AA bat­ter­ies, an emer­gency space blan­ket, an emer­gency rain pon­cho, mini first aid kit with the fol­low­ing addi­tions:

  • One square foot of alu­minum foil
  • Pack of match­es (got through secu­ri­ty this time with no issue)
  • One yard of duct tape
  • Two Zyrtec aller­gy pills
  • Trav­el pack of kleenex tis­sue
  • Two small Purell water­less hand san­i­tiz­ers. With 60% iso­propyl alco­hol and 40% aloe, this makes a great fuel gel in a pinch as well.
  • One gal­lon plas­tic bag that can be used for wet clothes or as a water blad­der. I should have added a cou­ple Iodine tablets to the first aid kit for water purifi­ca­tion. When I get home from this trip I’ll do that.
  • A 200-yard roll of den­tal floss. Stuff is strong as hell and can be used for mul­ti­ple util­i­ties.

I am think­ing of adding a cou­ple of sta­ple foods that I have in my cache at home and in my car’s EDC kit. Oat­meal pack­ets, instant cof­fee/tea, and a pack­et or two of the tuna in the alu­minum bags. Maybe a bag of my own trail mix that I make (raisins, M&Ms, Cashews, and Almonds) in a bag that I seal with my food saver. That should give me 24 — 48 hours of food in an emer­gency. Maybe also add a but­ton com­pass, pair of sur­gi­cal rub­ber gloves, a solar mobile phone charg­er, and a map of the area I am going to be trav­el­ing in.

I bought a $4.00 32oz bot­tle of water after I got through secu­ri­ty. I’ll drink that while at the hotel I am sure.

All of this is in my back­pack with my note­book, three pens, and my lap­top. I feel a lit­tle bet­ter with some gear, but I am not 100%. I would like a mul­ti-tool or my Ger­ber fold­ing pock­et knife. It is an invalu­able util­i­ty.

I am also now look­ing at my lap­top car­ry pack, and think­ing about replac­ing it with some­thing that has a lit­tle more util­i­ty for me and leav­ing some trav­el gear in it per­ma­nent­ly for busi­ness trav­el. And while I trav­el most­ly to major metro areas, maybe add a bot­tle of potas­si­um iodide tablets for that just in case sce­nario.

Things I need to rethink for future busi­ness trav­el:

  • Emer­gency change in trav­el plans where I get stuck in a des­ti­na­tion for an extra night
  • Lost reser­va­tions. When I got to the air­port, I went to the wrong air­line and almost got irate because they did not have my reser­va­tion… In the event of a real lost reser­va­tion, I should have a con­tin­gency plan in place.
  • Weath­er delays, rental car dis­as­ters, etc…

I would con­sid­er the above bul­let points, aver­age to low-risk issues, and are items that are semi-fre­quent­ly dealt with by many trav­ellers. Below is a list of high­er risk issues that may occur, and can be con­sid­ered dis­as­trous in nature.

  • Hurricane/Tornado
  • Earth­quake
  • Major auto­mo­bile acci­dent
  • Ter­ror­ist threat/attack where all flights get ground­ed
    • Crash­land­ing of any kind to me would be major

I am also con­sid­er­ing adding a large piece of sheet plas­tic that can be used as a very light shel­ter, and 10 — 20 feet of para­cord, for obvi­ous rea­sons I hope…

Fur­ther research has also shown me that there are some impro­vi­sa­tions that can make it through secu­ri­ty, and are allowed on a plane… Take a look: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

2021 UpdateMy EDC has gone through numer­ous iter­a­tions since this blog post in 2009.  Knives, mul­ti-tools, kits, etc.  Luck­i­ly, I think the only time I real­ly need­ed to use any gear out of it may have been from the ouch & boo-boo first aid kit sup­ply I usu­al­ly have with me when I trav­el.  I’ll try to write a post on today’s EDC, sans Firearm (as I live in a low-lib­er­ty state at the moment).

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